While the buzz about Informa’s bid to buy Springer Science + Business Media was making headline news, Springer’s crew at Stand 410 was busy with the debut of its latest product, SpringerMaterials.
Scientists, researchers, and engineers can now access the 400-volume Landolt-Börnstein series with a single keystroke. Billed as “the world’s largest resource for physical and chemical data,” SpringerMaterials—The Landolt-Börnstein Database brings the print collection’s rich content into one easy-to-access online platform (91,000 online documents, more than 1 million literature citations, 165,000 substances, and 3,000 properties).
The core of the SpringerMaterials database is two-fold, according to Thomas Mager, vice president of reference and database publishing at Springer. “First, we wanted to build a user interface with a search engine, and second, we wanted to make the content findable,” he says. The content is actually annotated, he says, with a content layer on the screen that has an added “ghost or shadow world” overtop that includes a thesaurus, metadata, and deep indexing to offer quick, easy search capabilities. “The feedback from our customers who were involved in the trial has been overwhelming in a positive sense,” says Mager.
Users can search in several ways: via a Google-like search box, an advanced search tab that creates a Boolean search term automatically as the user sets up the parameters, or a color-coded periodic table. User-friendly speed typing also suggests terms and available content during a search; results also include text surrounding the search string to provide context, and faceted results display offerings in key subject areas (molecules and radicals, crystallography, etc.). There’s also a REACH tab to provide instant info for EU regulatory documentation.
And as for the buzz about negotiations between Informa and Springer? Yep, they’re true. Eric Merkel-Sobotta, executive vice president for corporate communications, confirmed that negotiations were ongoing, “but not exclusive … we’re currently in talks with several parties.” Stay tuned for more developments.